It’s the very least. Personally, I think he should seriously consider taking civil action against both Xenophon and Hepworth, and sue them for defamation.
Dempsey is relieved he will not face prosecution over allegations he abused a child in the 1960s, but says he is humiliated that his name has been “rubbed in the mud”.
He says that if Senator Nick Xenophon “has any integrity”, he will apologise for making the allegations in Parliament – but the independent MP says he won’t be apologising.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will not pursue Monsignor Dempsey over alleged sex abuse against now-Bishop John Hepworth in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It said there was insufficient evidence to convict him.
“I can concentrate on being a good priest, and continuing to be a good priest, which is what I love doing,” Monsignor Dempsey said yesterday. In September 2011, Bishop Hepworth – the former global primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion – alleged that he had been sexually abused by Monsignor Dempsey a few decades earlier. He said Monsignor Dempsey and two other Catholic priests – both of whom are now dead – committed the abuse. Bishop Hepworth reported the allegations to the police after an investigation by the Catholic Church found no substance to the allegations.
At the time the allegations were raised, Senator Xenophon named Monsignor Dempsey in Federal Parliament.
“It’s a humiliating thing to have one’s name so rubbed in the mud and your reputation, especially when it’s done nationally as Senator Xenophon did, and that’s been difficult to cope with,” Monsignor Dempsey said.
“I hope if Senator Xenophon has any integrity he will apologise for doing something that made life very difficult for me.”